Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Distance from Heaven to Hell

In Paradise Lost, Satan and the rebel angels fall for nine days through Chaos before landing in Hell. Today in class, I wondered aloud how far Heaven is from Hell, assuming standard rules of velocity.

Wes Cowan, one of my students, went to work on the question. Here's the answer:

Terminal Velocity: 176 ft/sec
Seconds in a Day: 86,400 sec/day
Days in fall: 9 day/fall

86,400 sec/day x 176 ft/sec = 15,206,400 ft/day
15,206,400 ft/day x 9 day/fall = 136,857,600 ft/fall
136,857,600 ft/fall / 5280 ft/mile = 25,920 mile/fall


  • This math assumes that the terminal velocity of a falling angel is 176 ft/sec through a matrix of chaos. Being that chaos probably has no air or fluid to resist movement through drag or friction (since it is a void), terminal velocity would be the same as initial velocity.
  • If we assume that chaos is indeed “a yawning void” the velocity of the fallen during their entire trip would be the same as their initial velocity. This leads to the troublesome question of, “How fast did God throw the fallen angels from heaven?” If the initial velocity of the fallen angels could be determined by discovering God’s level of wrath and strength of arm at the time the fallen angels were thrown, then the answer could be known.
  • This answer also depends on whether or not God has chosen to allow the employment of Newtonian mechanics in regards to chaos and God’s ability to throw.

So, there you go. Los Lonely Boys have their answer. Not really all that far, considering.


  1. Interesting comparison in order to develop the problem below I like when people use different methods to catch our attention and this is one of them.m10m